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Philosophy

Philosophy
in School Life

Philosophy begins in wonder” – Plato.

To study philosophy is to grapple with questions that have occupied humankind for millennia, in conversation with some of the greatest thinkers who have ever lived.  AS Level Philosophy encourages pupils to be curious and allows them time to contemplate, reflect on and debate a range of complex philosophical theories including how do we gain knowledge? Do we have free will? What is the meaning of life? What does it mean to be a person? Should we fear death? What does it mean to be happy? Do mind independent objects really exist?  Do we all perceive things in the same way? How can we be certain of anything?  What is morality?

Philosophers are people who are unafraid of the large questions and enjoy reflecting on difficult ideas which hold universal significance.  Philosophy teaches pupils the skills needed to think for themselves in a logical, precise and articulate way.  Pupils study the AQA AS Philosophy specification, which includes two modules, namely epistemology and ethics.  In Epistemology pupils will be introduced to theories of knowledge, perception and the origins of knowledge.  They will engage with philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, Kant, Hume, and Russell.  In ethics pupils will explore the meaning of good, bad, right and wrong, Utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, and the origins of moral principles (meta-ethics).  These ethical theories will then be applied to the following issues; stealing, simulated killing within computer games, plays, literature and films, eating animals, and telling lies.   They will study philosophers such as Bentham, Kant, Aristotle and Hume.

Pupils will develop the ability to read complex philosophical texts closely; analysing and evaluating the arguments contained within.  Critical thinking skills are an essential aspect of the course, and pupils will be taught how to spot fallacies in arguments, and how to convey their understanding both orally and in writing, in a clear, precise and logical way.

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Teaching staff

Miss N J Williams
B.A. M.A. (Durham)
Deputy Head of Sixth Form, Head of Philosophy and Head of Religious Studies. 

Mrs S Kaur
B.A. (Birmingham)